HomeBase MetalsRio Tinto to explore for new iron ore deposits

Rio Tinto to explore for new iron ore deposits

Rio Tinto’s iron
ore operation in
the Pilbara, in
Western Australia
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 August 2008 – The Rio Tinto Group – the world’s third-largest mining company – plans to launch an international exploration initiative for iron ore assets with India’s largest iron ore company, NMDC Limited.
Confirming this in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News from Melbourne, Rio Tinto spokesman Ian Head said: “We are in discussions with them about a memorandum of understanding.” NMDC chairman Rana Som endorsed this statement in an interview from Hyderabad, saying: “We are planning to jointly look for virgin assets.” He was even more positive, adding that “an agreement will be signed on 18 August 2008.”

Hyderabad- based NMDC issued a tender earlier this year seeking global partners to buy mines overseas. Rio Tinto is seeking to tap India’s iron-ore reserves – the fifth-biggest in the world – as it plans to triple production to 600 million tpa with expansions in Australia, Guinea and Brazil.

Bloomberg reports that iron- ore prices have increased almost fourfold since 2001 to a record high because of surging demand from China, prompting companies such as Rio and NMDC to expand their holdings.